How often do you listen to what your children say about themselves? Are you monitoring how they speak about their looks, intelligence, or their self worth? Do they know that what they speak they give power to?
As a parent, I make it my job to pay attention. I’m nosey as hell while respecting boundaries. I’m always listening.
2017/18 was a rough school year for my youngest. He struggled greatly in Math and Science. One day while helping him, he was super frustrated, and yelled out, “I’m just dumb”. Y’all my heart broke and I immediately corrected him and reassured him that he was not dumb. Then I asked him what that meant to him and to explain to me how it made him feel. I then began to explain to him how we give power to the words we speak. I explained it in 12 year old terms. In that moment I realized that this was something he told himself often, not always out loud, but in his mind and spirit this was something he truly believed and I knew that I had to do something.
During an interaction with my middle son he began speaking negatively about his Math class. He was talking about how difficult Algebra was, how he didn’t understand the work, and would never get it. I stopped him before he continued! I explained to him that yes, Algebra can most definitely be hard, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t get it. It also didn’t mean that there wasn’t a different way to learn what he was struggling with. After examining, explaining again, and taking his time, what at the time seemed impossible became easy.
I knew that I had to break the cycle of negative self talk. I began with a quick self check to remind myself to watch my words in front of them. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher!
Learn how not to minimize their struggles or concerns. Never let them think that speaking about themselves in a negative manner is normal or okay.
I decided to write what I’m calling a mantra for my children, something for them to read every single day. I also had them set intentions for the year. No, we didn’t do it in the beginning of the year, but there is no designated time to start fresh. Here is what I wrote:
It is important that your children know how amazing they are. How important they are. How the words they speak carry power. Feel free to use this for your children, or yourself. Let’s break the cycle of negative self talk one – word – at – a – time.
Until next time…❤️